U.S. municipal bond volume totaled $187.2 billion in the first half of 2017, representing a 13% decline from the first half of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters. The decrease was due to a precipitous drop in muni bond refinancings, and new money issuance was up 8.7%.

  • Education: Municipal bonds issued for education purposes totaled $62.1 billion in the first half, which was down 10.4% over the year-earlier period. On the other hand, bonds dedicated to student loans rose 62.2%.
  • Biggest loser: Municipal bonds dedicated to electric power, which dropped 55%.
  • Caveat: The first half figure obscures a decent rebound in Q2 over a sluggish Q1, with Q2 2017 beating each of the prior two quarters in terms of both volume and number of transactions (albeit still falling well short of Q2 2016 on both metrics).

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Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

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America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.